29 September 2007

Operation Afghan: Phase One, Complete.

Well, it's been a long and stressful week here at Lunaticraft. School made things challenging, and up until today, I was kind of feeling like all progress in ALL of my personal undertakings had come to a complete halt. But then, this morning, I finished up another crochet flower, reached for my next yellow center and realized something: There were no more flower centers. How totally satisfying! I have finally compleated phase one of my afghan goal for this semester! After I finished doing a little happy dance in my living room (thank goodness my roomate wasn't there to see that embarrassment!), I pulled myself together and got the above photo of all the flowers together.

Then, I busied myself by beginning phase two. I decided to do the orange flowers first, since halloween is fast approaching (and by fast, I of course mean more than a month away), and until I finish phase three, the orange flowers will look particularly Halloweenie. I figure, that because the likelyhood is that I will be traveling on Halloween this year, I should celebrate it now any way I can! So that's the photo above.

Below, we have a scarf I had started a long time ago, and only recently picked up again. I need to finish it soon, since to my name I have but one set of knitting needles, which I will soon need for the production of a Christmas prezzie. Why I am putting myself through the hell of knitting instead of crocheting, I don't know. I think I am just convinced that one of these days it will click and not be so terribly hard for me. The yarn is Bernat's Soft Boucle in a mossy sort of green (I have misplaced the wrapper with the actual color name on it). A word of advice: It's very hard to work with. At least for me, anyway. I mean, my knitting skills are not that great as it is, but I am at least to the point where I can knit a scarf and have it actually be an even rectangle. This yarn doesn't seem to want to let me keep my tension very consistant though, something I'm sure you can notice in the varying widths of this small swatch of the scarf.

Later on this weekend, hopefully I will have more to show you, and maybe something a little more exciting to talk about (although I, myself am quite excited over all this). I also put up a few newly edited photos from China on my DeviantArt page, so if you are interested, head on over.


26 September 2007


Not having suffered from one in a while, I have completely forgotten how brutal caffeine headaches can be. For the past two days, I have been convinced that I had a migraine. I had been "blessed" by a similar little bugger last Thursday, so when I developed the same kind of splitting headache early yesterday, I wrote it off as another migraine. When I woke up this morning with the same headache, I began to get a little concerned, since when you type in persistent headache in the Web-MD search engine, the very first search result is usually something like "FATAL BRAIN TUMOR." But then I wandered into my kitchen and saw my poor little coffee machine sitting on the counter looking sad, alone, and unused. Seriously, within 5 minutes of taking my first sip, the headache is almost completely gone. I'm still sort of in shock over the fact that I didn't have any coffee at all yesterday. I woke up very late due to an alarm malfunction, and had to speed out of the apartment. Then, by the time I got back from class and working out, I had to be out the door in order to go see Marriage of Figaro with my ladies.

The Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh is putting on the opera at the Byham Theatre all this week. Albeit, it's in English, which seemed appalling to us after having just performed the thing in its original Italian a few months ago, but it was a good time. And most importantly, FREE. We managed to secure comp tickets through our teacher and some other people who were in the pit orchestra. Overall, they did a wonderful job, and I must admit, were probably a lot funnier than we were. I think it's just inherently funnier in English due to the liberal "translations" that they did. All in all, it was definitely filled with a lot more obvious innuendo than the original Italian is. The stage was a lot bigger, so they had more room to work with as per staging, too, so I'm sure that helped as well. Marcellina and Don Basilio were frickin' hilarious, Cherubino was very funny as well, and the Count was delightfully extreme in every way. Including threatening the Countess with a riding crop and fencing sabre. Though it added beautifully to the Count's character, my friends and I agreed that our Count would have had entirely too much fun with that.

Between the four of us, we had our former Barbarina (Me), Susanna, The Countess, and Cherubino, and we all couldn't really get over how strange it was to hear other people singing our roles for the first time since we did it. And in English no less... But it brought back a lot of good (and not so good, but funny) memories for us and overall served for a great night.

I'll have some art and crafting done in the next few days if all goes as planned, so be prepared!

24 September 2007

Thread, CNN, and Mirrors

Well, my weekend wasn't half as productive as it should have been considering the amount of work I have on my plate at the moment. However, some good did come of it, because when I wasn't laying like a lifeless lump on the couch watching reruns of the various CSIs, I did get some crafty stuff done in an attempt to avoid doing all the homework on my plate. So in that respect, as unproductive as it was, the weekend was at least relaxing.

I embroidered (see the photo above) something that I won't tell what it is, because I do intend for it to become a Christmas present for someone. I crocheted more flower centers for the afghan. I painted fun little mirrors from IKEA to match the throw pillows for our couch (also from IKEA). So I did get a lot done this weekend, even if it wasn't stuff I necessarily needed to get done.

Saturday intself started off pretty relaxing. There's nothing better than starting off a morning with Herodotus, Coffee, CNN, and cinnimon oatmeal. FYI, I have no idea who that guy on the TV is. The sports cast was on while I busied myself with my camera. I spent the majority of the rest of the day painting the mirrors you see below. I may still add some background details to them, but overall I'm pretty happy. They'll look quite delicious over our couch.

Speaking of my camera, it's long overdue for a good name, as is my new computer. Any suggestions?

Sunday was markedly less relaxing and craftily productive, due to the fact that I spent the majority of the afternoon making note cards for my Criminal Justice class. Color coded, maticulously planned note cards orginized by chapter, section, and then alphabetically.

Oops... My OCD is showing.

It's strange now, knowing how overboard I go with my studying and planning to study, to think about my study habits in high school. Or to be more accurate, my lack of study habits. I really didn't do a single thing outside of the classroom with the exception of the occasional paper. YET, somehow I still pulled through with a 97.2 GPA. I'm not sure if that's a testiment to my intellegence or an indication of how lax the majority of my high school teachers were. Honestly, through the entirety of my highschool career, there were only three classes that were really a challenge for me. My junior and senior year English classes (taught by the same, super awesome teacher), and my Sophomore Honors Biology class, and even for those, I rarely had to crack a book to do anything but the required readings for English.

It amazes me how I managed to pull through, and I also wonder how the hell I got from there to here with my color coded alphabitized index cards. I have no idea what kicked that switch into gear. I also have no idea if it actually makes a difference, or if my obsessive compulsive note card making and note rewriting is more of a time wasting tactic than a study tactic. Maybe I should conduct an experiment to find that out...

And in closing... BUDDHA GENGHIS!


Because I haven't been by in a bit, I have dropped in momentarily to share this photo of my dearest Rusalka after being spayed. My mother apparently was having trouble getting her to wear the cone collar, so she grabbed one of my Dad's old undershirts and jerry-rigged this nice little garment for her. Very fashionable, don't you think?


17 September 2007


Well, after reading through my last post, I am in awe at myself. That was probably the most disjointed piece of writing I have produced in, well, EVER. I'm immensely disappointed in myself. So here's some photography to make up for it. The first one is daisies in my front yard at home, and the second is the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, China (obviously that was taken during my trip this summer). Bigger, nicer versions can be seen at my DevArt page, along with a truckload more photos.

I've got some crafty projects on the slate to be finished by Friday, so I'll have some photos and such up pertaining to that by week's end.

14 September 2007

Nothin' like a good kick in the behind to wake you up...

So this past week has given me a giant kick in the ass. Herodotus is incredibly interesting, but alas... very slow going. I don't know what it is that makes it so hard to wade through, because (not to sound full of it or anything,) I am a very fast reader. We're talking about a girl who finished the Fifth Harry Potter book in just under 12 hours. However, it's taking me upwards of two hours to just get through 50 pages. It's really quite frustrating to me, because I'm so used to being able to finish a book within two days of starting it.

Speaking of Herodotus, reading it on benches outside seems to induce a myriad of interesting experiences. Firstly, this flock of little birdies decided that they were my new friends on Wednesday. It was pretty amazing, because wild animals, even the ones on campus that are really used to people, have always hated me. Why? Well I couldn't tell you. But these little guys decided they liked me, (or whatever was in the grass directly in front of me). I felt like Mary Poppins sitting there with birds milling around my feet.

Unfortunately, all animals do not like me. I discovered this little gem in my music collection on Thursday. Our wonderful little Rusalka had gotten at it and I hadn't noticed apparently. Grrr... Oh well. My voice teacher does mention how unused my voice books always look. So I guess this solves that.

Food, I have decided, will be my stress reliever this semester. Actually, I didn't so much decide as I did notice. There was no decision involved. So as of Monday, I have made one. I'm attempting to change that stress reliever to running on the treadmill since I've gained some circumference in my stomach/hips area that's not just regular growth. I haven't gained weight, funnily enough, but probably about an inch around. Which is not really a big deal cosmetically, because I was a size 2 to begin with. However, because it's probably my muscles are atrophying, I really should do something about that. Muscles aren't supposed to be atrophying at the tender age of 20... I've got a few more years to go before that's acceptable. So I've been trying my best to go running at least 5 times a week.

In other news, ZOMG! The sky actually does get the color it looks like on CSI: Miami (although admittedly cloudier and not fake)!


10 September 2007

One of those days...

Did you ever just have one of those days when being within 5 feet of another person makes you want to scream and run away?

I'm aparently having one of those days. I'm just totally claustraphobic today and I don't know why. The elevators are driving be bonkers, and for some reason today people LOVE crowding up on me when I'm walking across campus. Why, I have no idea, because they've got the whole rest of the sidewalk to inhabit. Is it really necessary to stay a foot behind me the whole walk? Tailgating is bad when you're driving on the highway, and I really do think that the same should apply to walking. If you're so close to me that I can feel your breath on the back of my neck, just freaking pass me. If you don't, it's creepy and makes me really nervous and twitchy.

What ever happened to personal space?

Sorry to make you all endure this, and I promise to have a post that's worth something more than a personal rant up later today...

It's just one of those days.


08 September 2007


Pittsburgh really just doesn't like me. Seriously. The days I am stuck in class all day and can't go and do anything are sunny, bright, and beautiful. And then I finally have a day full of nothing except for all the plans in the world to go on walks and chill outside. That's when Pittsburgh decides to be gross, and rainy.

On the bright side, I made grilled cheese...

To be honest, it's probably best that I'm stuck inside today, because I really do have truckloads to get done. I have to read at least 300 pages of Herodotus this weekend (The Histories) because I'm an ass and accidentally read Plutarch instead. Turns out Plutarch is the one that's due AFTER midterms, and Herodotus is the one due BEFORE midterms. On the bright side, Plutarch's Rise and Fall of Athens was quite engaging, so I don't feel too bad about the mistake. As long as I just pretend I don't have to read six hundred pages in a week and a half along with all my other homework.

So it's good that I'm stuck inside. However, I seem to be having this problem lately where the 1950's Housewife in me is pulling so hard to get me to stop doing work. It's bizarre, because I have this rediculous dichotomy in my life. On one hand, I'm this independant, intellegent, modern, head-strong 20 year old woman, and on the other it's like there's the spirit of a 1950's housewife inhabiting my body (this is all just figure of speech. I don't actually think there's a spirit of some lady inhabiting my body. I don't do the supernatural like that) and I'm constantly torn between the two. It's like there is no in between.

It's very confusing, because one day I'll wake up and be convinced that I'm going to go to Columbia or NYU or somewhere, get my Ph.D., write myriads of books, revolutionize the feild of British History and teach at a university, all while keeping up a career as a fiction writer and opera singer on the side, and jettsetting all over the world. And I really honestly feel capable of it.

And then some days I get up and just know that I'm going to go back home, teach highschool history, and be happy doing that for the rest of my life. And I really honestly feel like anything else would make me miserable.

I'm not really sure how to handle it, because I have to make up my mind within the next three months so I can get grad school applications out. It's hard, because every day I'm SO SURE that this is what I'm going to do, but then I wake up the next day and I'm SO SURE that I want to do the other thing. I've gotta straighten this out, because I don't have all the time in the world any more. Three months, and I've gotta know.

Grrrr.... I hate rainy days. They always make me think too much.

So anyway, here's a cat picture. I liked the way it came out after I edited it, so you get to see it. It's on DevArt too.


05 September 2007

Spot the Craft!

I've been swamped like crazy with back to school stuff, and I went home for labor day which didn't really help. Although I had a wonderful weekend and road trip with the fella, not having that first weekend to get ahead in homework and finish setting things up in the living space did complicate things for this week just a tad.

So yesterday I had kind of a mental break down from reading too much Herman Melville and took some pictures of the result of my summer crochet-wise. Just a whole bunch of flowers that will become flower polygons for that afghan I started three years ago now. The flower part is my least favorite part, so I set myself a goal of getting 50 flowers done before I let myself start adding the black yarn, which is the REALLY satisfying part of it.

Lots and lots of brightly colored flowers! It made me less desperate after reading Melville's Benito Cereno four times and still not getting the drift.

I just cannot get past Melville's verbal diarrhea. I can't do it. And it's really frustrating, because my Critical Issues teacher explained the whole plot to me, and frankly, it's AWESOME... but I just can't get it out of the book.

I hate long winded 19th century writers. I really do. They can take the coolest plot and jumble it up into something truly unenjoyable.

On the bright side, the fella stayed in Pittsburgh for a few hours after driving me back from home and we got to go out for dinner for the first time in a long time. The end of summer just got so hectic and away from us... We sort of forgot how to be a real couple. But we finally got ourselves out for dinner, even if we were still in our sweats from the road trip back. There's this great little Irish pub that has some of the best burgers around down at the Southside Works, so we chilled there for a while and enjoyed our burgers. I think it's called McCladdaugh's Irish Pub. Don't quote me on that though. I'm too lazy to go look it up.

It really is quite strange to be back here. And it's even stranger to think that it's my last year. It brings up incredibly mixed feelings... But I really shouldn't talk about that. My best friend and I sat at Starbucks last night and talked about morbid, depressing things for like two full hours last night, so I think I've reached my morbid and depressing thing quota for the week.

So instead I leave you with....